If the rift that’s growing between Riverdale’s formerly most solid father/son duo is destroying your heart and you find yourself screaming at Archie every time he appears on screen, you’re not alone. “I blame him,” Luke Perry — who plays Andrews family patriarch, Fred — told MTV News at L.A.'s PaleyFest over the weekend.
Even though he said it jokingly, I wouldn't blame Perry for feeling that way about his on-screen son. Throughout the second season of the CW hit, we've seen Archie repeatedly side with the Lodges during their questionable business dealings and slowly inch his way into their dark wrath ever since Hiram (Mark Consuelos) found his way home from prison.
Although, to be fair to Archie, it wasn't until recently that his own father stopped doing business with the Lodges after hearing about their plans to build a for-profit prison on the land that currently houses Southside High.
KJ Apa, who plays Archie, thinks his character is temporarily blinded by Hiram's charm as he seeks to earn the approval of his girlfriend's father any way he can — whether that means getting his ass kicked in a wrestling match or slicing his palm for a blood vow.
“I think [Archie] sees Hiram as a role model at the moment, and I think he wants to be like his right-hand man and he wants to earn his respect, which ultimately becomes detrimental to him,” Apa said, teasing that this pattern is likely to continue "until he finds out that it’s becoming too much and ruining his relationship with his dad or hurting him and his family."
As for Fred, it seems things have to get worse before they can get better. Perry admitted he isn't so sure that his character even realizes that his son is slowly slipping away. "I think [Archie] would have to do something that he’s not doing. That’s why this is going on," Perry said. "He keeps a good secret."
Fortunately, all of the necessary revelations could come sooner rather than later. After all, Fred is on the cusp of turning himself into even more of a target for the shady businessman when he announces his campaign for mayor of Riverdale and formally pits himself against Lodge family matriarch, Hermione (Marisol Nichols).
"He just wants to have a good town for his son to grow up in," Perry said of Fred's political aspirations, while recognizing that this decision will leave Archie "straddling a very painful fence."
For Archie, these dueling campaigns are going to create an "obviously gnarly" situation. "He wants to support Hiram, but he wants to support his dad at the same time, and neither his dad nor Hiram want him to do that," Apa said. "Especially Hiram — he’s got a whole lot of tricks up his sleeve, I think. He wants to get in between him and his dad."
Ever the optimist, Perry chalks up this tension — recognized or not — to the "ebb and flow of life," calling this point in their relationship “no different than any other father/son relationship. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes the pendulum swings the other way and it sucks, and our pendulum will continue to swing.”